GROWLS - Wildlife Tips
Does An Animal Need Help?
Observe carefully and ask the following questions:
- Is it in immediate danger?
- What is its general overall condition?
- Is it bleeding?
- Is there a dead adult or sibling nearby?
- Is it SAFE for me to intervene?
If possible, call for help before intervening.
Note the time and the exact location where the animal was seen. Does it look as if it has been there for a while? Wildlife parents can leave their young for lengthy periods of time.
If the animal is obviously injured or in immediate danger and can be safely handled, cover it with a jacket or blanket and transfer to a ventilated cardboard box or similar container if the animal is of a size that would allow that. Never have an animal loose in a car!
Remember…the animal thinks you are going to harm it and may put up a fight. Birds of prey will use their talons; even a small animal can bite HARD!
Warmth, darkness and quiet are very important. Do not feed or pat!
Does Wildlife Rehabilitation Interfere With Nature?
There are a few critics of wildlife rehabilitation. They feel that we should leave injured animals alone and not interfere with nature.
The sad truth is that the largest number of rehabilitation cases in this area is caused by human activities: automobiles, dogs and cats at large, land clearing etc. There are those of us who feel that we have a responsibility to do what we can to repair and prevent (through education) some of the damage resulting from our impact on wildlife and wildlife habitat.
What Can Be Done To Help Prevent Injuries To Wildlife?
One of the main causes of wildlife vulnerability is loss of habitat. Animals displaced from their natural areas may suffer from increased competition or a lack of food, shelter and nesting sites. They are also more likely to come in contact with “civilization” – cars, pets, power lines and houses. (How many of us have picked up a bird that has flown into a window?)
We all participate in this gobbling up of wild areas, but there are ways to lessen our impact.
- Leave wild areas untouched on your property
- Don’t fill in the swampy areas
- Refrain from clear cutting – practice sustainable logging techniques
- Don’t cut down trees during nesting season (spring and summer)
- Keep your dogs and cats from roaming
- Drive slowly and keep an eye out (when a deer crosses the road, others will often follow behind)